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AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Rafael Nadal’s opponent claims he received preferential treatment

Denis Shapovalov claims Rafael Nadal is given preferential treatment by Australian Open Umpires, after his defeat by the Spaniard in their Australian Open quarter-final.

Denis Shapovalov has complained of special treatment given to his opponent Rafael Nadal during his recent quarter final match.


Shapovalov was unhappy with the amount of time he thought Nadal was taking between points and twice complained to umpire Carlos Bernardes.


35-year-old Nadal does not agree with these claims.


Shapovalov, 22, lost in five sets to 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, having fought back to level after going two sets down.


At the start of the second set, Shapovalov asked Bernardes to give a time violation to the sixth seed.


When the official did not see fit to do so, Shapovalov shouted:


"You guys are all corrupt."

In his post-match news conference, 14th seed Shapovalov said he "misspoke" during the match with emotions riding high but still stood by the wider point.


Players are allowed 25 seconds between shots and two minutes between sets, all timed by a shot clock.


Asked whether he thinks Nadal receives preferential treatment, Shapovalov said:


"Of course - 100% he does, 100%. Every other match that I have played, the pace has been so quick because the refs have been on the clock after every single point.


Shapovalov added:


"I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he's an unbelievable player. But there have got to be some boundaries, some rules set."

"It's just so frustrating as a player. You feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires; you're playing against so much more."

Denis Shapovalov was aiming for his second Grand Slam semi-final after reaching the last four at Wimbledon in 2021 while Nadal won his only Australian Open title in 2009. (BBC Sport)


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